To have a lush green lawn you have to be committed to caring for it. The care that your lawn needs varies from season to season, and you also have to take into account the type of grass that is growing in your yard. Some people use chemicals for their lawns but if not done properly they can harm the environment and possibly even you.
If you are considering doing organic lawn care here are some helpful tips for a healthy lawn.
A gardener needs to know about the soil and soil conditions he has in his garden because soil helps provide the perfect grass growth base. Before starting the seeding process, it is vital to take a soil test.
A soil test will help you know the soil condition and nutrient levels in the soil, such as soil pH, potassium phosphorus, and nitrogen levels.
You can either test the soil yourself using effective self-tests in the market or contact your local county extension office. They can help you get information about test kits and some lawn and garden laboratories with trained soil specialists on staff.
You can also take accurate soil samples yourself from problematic areas of your lawn, such as any area exposed or has unwanted lawn mosses. Tell the lab that you’re testing areas of your yard, and they can help you by giving some advice on how you can improve your lawn.
01. Correct any underground issues
When you get the test results and you know the problems, it’s time to fix them. Balancing out and improving your soil using soil amendments and fertilizers recommended by the lab such as Lime (pulverized limestone) helps balance the soil’s pH to support the grasses draw the nutrients they need from the soil. Start by fixing the severe and more troubled areas and then resolving any bare lawn patches.
02. Water Lawn in the Morning
Early morning is the best time to water as it gives the soil time to absorb and store moisture. If possible, water during the cool of the early morning to avoid evaporation. Using an oscillating sprinkler to spray your lawn for 15 minutes or so is better than using a hose. The sprinklers will put out just enough water to take care of evaporation, wind drift, and runoff.
Watering in the morning also reduces the chance of fungal diseases and bacterial blasts because it allows the leaves to dry out during the day.
03. Regular Mowing
Mowing your lawn regularly is important to keep the grass healthy. Mow often enough that your grass blades never reach more than a third of the way down the stem. If you cut too low and damage the crown, it can be difficult for the plant to recover, especially in the summer heat.
Do not mow until new growth has come in; then mow only the top third of your lawn. Two to three inches is optimal, but not always practical with most lawnmowers. The longer this amount of grass blade is left on the plant, the more leaf area it has for photosynthesis as well as storage capacity for carbohydrates and other nutrients.
Mowing your lawn will not only keep it looking neat but also stimulate growth.
04. Proper pH and Nutrient Balance
It’s important to have the proper pH and nutrient balance for your lawn. If these are not within a certain range, then plants can be damaged or killed. Make sure that you know what type of soil you have and what kinds of lawn grasses you will be planting before adding any fertilizers to your garden area.
05. Using Fertilizers
Fertilizing your lawn is very important for good plant health. Too much nitrogen will cause the grass to grow too quickly and become thin, weak, and pale green. The leaves can fall off easily as well because the plant puts all of its energy into producing new foliage at the expense of flowers or fruit.
It’s also important to fertilize your lawn in the correct way. Avoid large clumps of fertilizer scattered all over your lawn, as they are likely to burn the plants regardless of what kind you use.
06. Using Weed killers
Weeds should be removed from your lawn as soon as you spot them. The longer weed seeds are allowed to remain in the soil, the more likely they are to grow and compete with other plants for sunlight, nutrients, and moisture. Weed control is best if done as a preventative measure.
If you do have weeds in your lawn, make sure to use weed killers on your grass properly. Spray the leaves and not the dirt because it will kill off any new seedlings as well as the existing weeds. It’s important to read the label on weed killers carefully before using them.
07. Aerating Lawn
Aerating your lawn is important to allow water, fertilizer, and other materials to be absorbed more easily into the soil. Aerators remove plugs of soil from the ground, allowing air to reach the root zone. Be careful when using aerators around established plants because they tend to pack the soil down more tightly.
As you are considering these tips, remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to having a healthy lawn.
08. Grass Customization
Mixing different types of grass together in areas where the lawn is not well-maintained will help to produce a fast-repairing turf. If you mix Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass together, it creates a lawn that has good disease resistance and is better able to withstand periods of drought.
The drawback to mixing different grasses together is that it can often lead to tufting, which is when the blades clump together and create rough spots in your lawn. A gradual mix of different soils will help to reduce this problem.
09. Reseed Thin Areas of the Lawn
If you have bare spots in your lawn or thin grass, you may want to re-seed the area with a mix of new seed and old soil. Raking up leaves from last year’s fall will help to expose any areas of thin turf that need to be reseeded.
James, the D.I.Y Expert, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Colorado State University. Love writing blog posts and guides to help others learn how to garden!